Call centres: Simply solving a problem isn’t enough for three-quarters of your customers

8th Jun 2015

Call and contact centres continue to receive a bad rep in the press, especially in the US where Comcast’s recent call centre practices ensure the industry is kept well and truly in the spotlight.

Research from Mattersight also adds fuel to this fire. In the new report, ‘Please hold for a reality check - the real reasons consumers are fed up with call centers’ it was found that consumers are being increasingly frustrated by the effort it takes most call centres to solve any support queries.

Surveying more than 1,000 consumers in the US to understand when and why consumers call for help, what they expect when someone answers the phone and how to improve the outcome of every conversation, the research found that 66% of people are frustrated before they even start talking with a customer service representative.

What’s more, 75% of consumers surveyed said they felt frustrated after talking with customer service representatives in call centres, even if their problem was eventually solved. 44% can’t understand why call centres don’t “make it easier to get the help they need”.

The report states that many organisations don’t currently do enough with self-service opportunities as a first line of response, instead relying on opening call centre telephone exchanges to resolve the majority of problems, despite research proving that this is no longer a guaranteed means of success.

And even with a strong self-service support network, “businesses have a tremendous opportunity to improve the outcome of every call by understanding and pairing the personalities of callers with call centre agents best-suited to meet their needs,” the report states.   

Congnisco’s principal consultant, Amanda Green recently told that many of the issues consumers continued to have with call centres were tied up in the way employees were being trained, on the job:  

“To achieve customer service excellence and uncover the root causes of behaviour on the job, companies need to start by looking not at what people know but rather identifying specifically what it is they don’t understand,” she said.

“They can do this using employee assessments and measure advisors in realistic ‘on the job’ situations. The results will highlight knowledge gaps and unacceptable behaviour giving managers a clear picture of strengths and weaknesses of every individual.

“Once gaps in understanding have been identified, companies can design specific interventions, avoiding the one-size fits all approach to training and provide appropriate learning media and resources to address it.

“Companies that do this will be rewarded with a customer services department they can be proud of who will consistently achieve customer service excellence – winning and keeping customers along the way.”


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By Julian Sammells
12th Jun 2015 17:23

Amidst all the talk of multichannel customer service, companies can overlook one key fact – customers want any interaction to be simple, seamless and involve minimal effort from them. That’s why if they are forced to change channel and call a contact centre, rather than finding answers online they are already frustrated – even if their query is then solved. Adding faster channels such as self-service and chat can help reduce effort and make the whole process easier for customers – more in this Eptica blog post on Customer Effort Scores

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